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Hi
Can anyone confirm that a 'see vancouver card' is all it's cracked up to be. It just seems really cheap for all the free attractions it offers. We're (4 adults) spending 2 / 3 days in both Vancouver AND Victoria in September.
Cheers

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    I don't know. I think you have to figure out your itinerary, figure out the attractions you want to see, look up what they normally cost, see how many of them you could fit into a day, and then see if you would even use $40 - $50 per day on those attractions.

    If I was going to Vancouver for 2 - 3 days, the See Vancouver Card would not be a bargain for me.

    On the first day I would visit free Stanley Park (without the horsedrawn carriage ride, thank you very much). I would visit Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park (C$18.50). Then I would go to Granville Island Market, Yaletown and Robson Street, all of which are free.

    On the second day day I would go to the Museum of Anthropology (C$9). I would visit Queen Elizabeth Park, which is free, but where I would pay to see Bloedel Conservatory (C$4.30). After that I would visit VanDusen Botanical Garden (C$7.95). I would finish up with a walk along Kitsilano Beach (free). My grand total for the day would be C$21.25.

    On the third day, I would visit Lynn Canyon Regional Park in North Vancouver (free). I would not even think about going to Capilano Canyon.

    In Victoria, the See Vancouver Card covers some good attractions, such as the Royal BC Museum, the Emily Carr House and Craigdarroch Castle. However, if you cross by ferry, the surface crossing will consume half a day. That will leave you only half a day in which to take advantage of the See Vancouver Card. That is awkward, because the card is valid only on consecutive days.

    So, while the See Vancouver Card may be worthwhile for your trip, it most likely would not be worthwhile on a trip that I would be interested in doing.

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    Thanks Judy
    After studying Vancouver/Victoria area we have put together our ‘Must do’s’ and ‘Do if possibles’. We start our vacation with 2 full days in Vancouver early September, then after returning from the Rockies later in the month we have 2 full days in Victoria.
    (An additional day and a half in the Vancouver/Victoria area completes our vacation. We intend to decide what to do for the last 36 hours at the time, though the Horseshoe Bay area followed by either Capilano suspension bridge or Lynn and a trip to Grouse Mountain looks a probability.)
    Any further comments and suggestions, particularly with regards to which attraction to see with which, would be greatly appreciated as always.

    Vancouver – Must Do’s
    Robson Street (We’re staying at the Listel) - Granville Island Market - Stanley Park & Aquarium (What’s wrong with the carriage ride?!)

    Vancouver - Possibilities
    Science Museum - MacMillan Space Centre (& Planetarium) – Yaletown -
    Chinatown (Somewhere we’ve read night time is the time to go ?) - Canada Place

    Victoria – Must Do’s
    Day 1) Butchart Gardens, followed by a good rest !
    Day 2) Royal BC Museum, followed by Whalewatching

    Many Thanks

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    >>>>>>What’s wrong with the carriage ride?!<<<<<<

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it. But it costs C$23 per adult. People can get around Stanley Park by means of a free shuttle bus. The horse drawn carriage is not something I would pay for. To me it seems like false economy to buy a card that would give me complimentary access to something I would not otherwise have used. That's all I meant.

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    Night time is definitely *not* the time to visit Chinatown. Almost everything is closed and it becomes an eery ghost town. It doesn't help that one street over is the infamous downtown eastside, known for its homeless, prostitutes and drug addicts. Some of that spills over into Chinatown, especially moreso at night. It's not dangerous as in violent, but you'd be seeing a pretty seedy, depressing site.

    Chinatown does have its night market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights during the evening. If you're in the area, I'd drop by, but it's not worth going out of your way to see, in my opinion. There are maybe 5 food stalls and 2 dozens stalls selling merchandise. The Richmond Night Market on the other hand, has maybe 50 food stalls, and over 100 merchandise stalls... plus live entertainment, games, etc. (www.richmondnightmarket.com). It's worth going out of your way to see.

    Chinatown is really neat for an hour during the morning or afternoon, but it's a small part of downtown Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood. It doesn't actually have many restaurants, but moreso traditional Chinese architecture, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen gardens, and a lot of the traditional Chinese markets (ie: open air dried fish, shops with BBQ duck in the window, Chinese bakeries, traditional medicine shops, Chinese kitchen shops, etc). It's full of history and definitely worth a look, but see it in the day and not so much the night. :)

    P.S. You can also purchase discount tickets for a lot of Vancouver's attractions at the tourism info centre at the airport or downtown.

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    Also a note about Canada Place. While it sits on Burrard Inlet and gives you good views of the northern harbour, there isn't actually a whole lot to do at Canada Place, for it's a convention centre, a cruise ship terminal, and a hotel. You can wander around its perimeter and take pictures of the harbour, but with exception to the IMAX movie theatre at its northern end, there's not really much to do.

    Instead, I'd try to make your way down Denman Street (under a 10 minute walk west from your hotel). From Denman Street, you can head south and pass dozens of restaurants and shops. 15 minutes down Denman Street is English Bay Beach. This whole area stays vibrant throughout the evening, so if you're looking for a stroll after dinner, this is the better area to explore. Generally if you head east towards Gastown and Chinatown in the evening, it becomes quite seedy.

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    Hello selsel,

    Your plans for Victoria look good.

    In Vancouver I would spend Day #1 doing those centrally located things, but in reverse. First I would go to Stanley Park and the Aquarium. If there was time left over after that, I would go to Granville Island Market. If there was time left over after that, I would walk down Robson Street. I think you probably will have time to do it all. However, there is a danger that if you fritter your time on the least important things first, you may run out of time in which to see the higher priority attractions.

    On Day #2 in Vancouver, I would do a day trip to Whistler. If you had travelled from the Rockies to Vancouver via Whistler this of course would be repetitive. If you had not yet been to Whistler it would be most worthwhile. For me the attraction is not so much the town of Whistler as the beautiful forests all the way from Vancouver to Whistler and beyond (more lush than the alpine forests covering the Rockies) and the charming waterfalls that you can visit on the way.

    Lynn Canyon is covered in the same type of lush temperate rainforest. It’s wonderful that there is a wilderness area like that on the edge of a city and accessible by regular city public transportation. If a person cannot make it to Whistler, then Lynn Canyon provides some of the elements that the trip to Whistler would provide. Lynn Canyon does not, on its own, provide the drive along the edge of the fjord known as Howe Sound. Also, while there are mountains on Vancouver’s "North Shore," they are not as high as the mountains further inland towards Whistler.

    It’s true that a visit to Lynn Canyon can be followed by a visit to Horseshoe Bay on the edge of Howe Sound (either by car or by city bus). If you had a car, you could follow Howe Sound further, to Squamish. But then if you’d done that, you might just as well go all the way to Whistler. Squamish, being an hour out of Vancouver, is half way to Whistler.

    If it’s a choice between Capilano Canyon Suspension Bridge and Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, I’d choose free Lynn Canyon over Capilano Canyon.

    If you have been to Whistler, Grouse Mountain will not impress you that much. Again it’s rather expensive. The Skyride costs around C$32 per adult, and you have to pay extra for parking. I guess the Grouse Mountain parking is not that expensive. It costs C$3 for 2 hours and, if you’re going to visit Grouse Mountain at all, you should invest in 4 hours’ worth of parking. If 4 adults shared that cost it would be peanuts. However, I think it’s cheesy of them to wring more money out of the visitor when they’re already charging C$32 / person for the Skyride.

    I was going to comment on Chinatown, but I see that Carmanah has taken care of that already.

    Another place that is past its heyday is Gastown. These days it is dominated by tacky souvenir stores. It’s okay during the day, but gets scuzzy at night.

    Having got what I consider to be the important things under your belt during your first two days in Vancouver, you then can decide what you want to see during your last 36 hours. By then you’ll know what you’ve liked so far, and you’ll know what you want to see more of. You’ll also know what you’re tired of. For example, if you are starting to feel a bit overloaded with wilderness scenery at that point, you could do more urban stuff. If you are craving more wilderness stuff until the very last moment of your vacation, you could seek out wilderness spaces.

    Hope that helps.

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